Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Botswana is generally a place of empty blue skies and boasts an enviable 300 days of dazzling sunshine a year. Thankfully around December, life-giving summer rains begin to fall, marking the start of safari's low or Green Season. The bulk of the rain falls over January and February, and the landscape stays beautifully lush and green until about April.

Many safari-goers recommend visiting during the May to October dry winter season when game viewing is at its easiest. With only winter's sparse vegetation to hide them, animals are more visible, especially when they congregate at shrinking waterholes and on riverbanks as the dry season grinds on.

The trouble is everyone else knows this, too. And coupled with the fact that Botswana's dry season coincides with the northern hemisphere's summer vacation period, Botswana's major wildlife destinations get pretty crowded. So if you want all the drama of Botswana's legendary game viewing without the crowds, consider a safari between December and March. It's not only a case of fewer visitors: you will enjoy better rates and plenty of Green Season surprises...


Botswana's Green Season is all about prolific game and bird life!

The Best Colours and Light for Photography

The view from Meno a Kwena.

Firstly, the rains transform the brown winter landscape into a startling green wonderland. Full-leafed acacia trees cast deep, cool shade over rolling green lawns; flowers leap up unannounced out of the sand, and crusty salt pans turn into shimmering wetlands full of honking waterbirds and colourful migratory species. The clean-washed air makes colours richer and deeper, the cloud-stacked sunsets are more intense – photographers will love the Green Season.

It’s Birthing Season – Predator Action!

Spotting rare wild dog at King’s Pool.

As dramatic as the afternoon sky, so too is the reaction of Botswana’s wildlife to the rains. Antelope like impala and springbok take advantage of the new greenery to give birth – seemingly all at the same time! This is, of course, excellent news for Botswana’s long-toothed predators. If you want to see nature at its most ruthless and bittersweet, head for the nearest herd of ear-twitching herbivores with their lambs and wait for the circle of life to take its course.

Witness The Longest Land Migration on Earth

Following the zebra migration with Camp Kalahari.

And not only do many animals drop their young in the Green Season, they also gather in great herds and go marching across the country. The Kalahari‘s Nxai and Makgadikgadi Pans, as well as the Savuti area of Chobe National Park erupt into ‘lights-camera-action!’ drama as the annual zebra migration, eagerly followed by big cats and wild dogs, rolls into town for the fresh summer grazing.

Our Favourite Places to Stay:

Nxai Pan National Park, Botswana
Each room opens up to a private deck The park has a large number of wild animals which you can see during a game drive Get social in the evening while sitting around the boma Enjoy some relaxed hours in the the open lounge Spoil yourself with delicious food and enjoy the view over the ocean Have a refreshing dip into the pool and enjoy a scenic view Experience african wildlife closer then ever before

Nxai Pan

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Full-day safaris Game drives Guided walks
Savuti, Botswana
SavutiCamp-Exterior-ArealView SavutiCamp-Exterior-DeckPatio SavutiCamp-Dining-BomaCampFire SavutiCamp-Dining-Elephant SavutiCamp-Exterior-SwimmingPool SavutiCamp-Interior-CommunalArea SavutiCamp-Interior-Supper

Savuti Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Boat excursions Day tours Fishing
Kalahari, Botswana
Meno-A-KwenaTentedCamp-Dining-BomaCampFire Meno-A-KwenaTentedCamp-Exterior-ArealView Meno-A-KwenaTentedCamp-Dining-Supper Meno-A-KwenaTentedCamp-Entrance-CommunalArea Meno-A-KwenaTentedCamp-Exterior-Lounge Meno-A-KwenaTentedCamp-Interior-FamilyRoom Meno-A-KwenaTentedCamp-Bathroom-LuxuryRoom

Meno-A-Kwena Tented Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Boat excursions Cultural visits Guided walking safaris Scenic flights

The Kalahari Comes Alive

Horseback safari with Camp Kalahari.

Nowhere in Botswana sees a more striking transformation than the Kalahari. Indeed, it is during the Green Season that this usually inhospitable semi-desert comes alive. Lines of wildebeest and zebra wind their way onto the Makgadikgadi grasslands; buffalo and elephant – incongruous in this semi-desert setting – arrive at Nxai Pan National Park while the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, home to huge herds of springbok, echoes to the sounds of contented fat-bellied lions and ‘I-couldn’t-eat-another-bite’ cheetahs.

Our Favourite Places to Stay:

Kalahari, Botswana
CampKalahari-SwimmingPool-Afternoon CampKalahari-Exterior-FamilyRoom CampKalahari-Exterior-DeckPatio CampKalahari-Interior-Twinbed CampKalahari-Dining-Lunch CampKalahari-Interior-StandardRoom CampKalahari-Interior-CommunalArea

Camp Kalahari

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Cultural visits Game drives Guided walks
Makgadikgadi, Botswana
Jacks Camp, Botswana Jacks Camp, Botswana Jacks Camp, Botswana Jacks Camp, Botswana Jacks Camp, Botswana Jacks Camp, Botswana Jacks Camp, Botswana

Jack's Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Fly camping Game drives Guided walking safaris
Kalahari, Botswana
Leroo La Tau on the Boteti River Leroo La Tau-Camp fire Leroo La Tau-Swimming Pool Leroo La Tau-View from the Standard Room Leroo La Tau-Standard Room_1 interior Leroo La Tau-room-view Leroo-La-Tau-Guest-Room-view

Leroo La Tau

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Cultural visits Day tours Game drives

A Birdwatcher’s Paradise

African fish eagle in Chobe.

And then there are the birds. Botswana has a wonderful range of resident species but as the rains arrive, so do migrant birds from Europe, Asia and other parts of Africa. Botswana’s bird watching goes from superb to sensational: kingfishers, kites, swallows, bee-eaters, rollers and cuckoos fill the air with extravagant song and colour. Everywhere is good for birding – the Kalahari, Savuti, the Okavango Delta, the Chobe River and Linyanti wetlands… even non-birders will get caught up in the excitement during a Botswana Green Season safari.

You May Also Enjoy:

Dominic Chadbon
Written By

Dominic Chadbon

Share with a Friend